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The Bears and Moose of Alaska!

Dear Friends…

I hope all of you are enjoying our early summer and that some of the sights will inspire you to take out your paints!

 Painting subjects and colors that match the season is always a good choice. Your art will have more inspiration.
Creating a themed drawing is your first task. I often turn to the internet for references if the subject is too difficult to photograph. 
The FLOWERS can come from your garden!
Grizzly bear cub in forest, Katmai National Park, Alaska.
 Art Class…
First find your references. I use books and the internet.
I am careful to not copy other’s photos exactly. They are used for inspiration and detail only.
Arranging the characters in your art is a bit like making a  shelf display in your home. Draw a quick sketch of each piece separately and move them around till it feels right and then begin your sketch. Fill in the background with vague shapes…remember, you want your subject to take center stage. Everything else is just the adjectives.
Bears…and flowers.

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Once you have all of your ingredients  you can finish your drawing.
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 Art Tip #1; Paint your lightest colors first.
The choice of where to begin is always made for you. The lightest color in this piece will be the white in the lupine. 
I created a sky blue and violet palette for the flowers along with the palest greens.
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Red and violet are the opposite color to green so they are used to create the shadows and hue interest.
Can you see the purple in the lime?
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Use the same colors in your tray as you move from shape to shape.
The colors will blend naturally.
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For the bears use orange gold and blue.
This is more interesting than just browns…the opposite colors create vibrancy.
For more information on opposite colors and their importance visit my Video… (link)
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It take patience to fill all of the the colors in separately. 
Always add contrasting colors into each shape for movement.
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Once all the colors are in place you can add the shadows.
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Use translucent colors like a mix of thalo green with a little alizarin crimson 
and  push the wash in the darkest area with purple. Use both colors thinly.
Art Tip #2;  Value does all of the work but color gets the credit.
This means that opposite colors juxtaposed are not as important as changing values.
Light against Dark and Dark against Light. 
Place your most contrasting and your brightest colors at your focal point.
This is why the “eyes” always draw the viewer in. It is usually your strongest point of value change.
Finally I add the details of the fur with my #1 liner brush and some tinted white titanium watercolor.
The illusion of bear and cub are almost complete.
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 My friends at Alaska Wildlife Center (Link) Sent me many photos of young wildlife in Alaskan flowers as a request.

I was honored to help raise awareness of these beautiful animals through the creation of a painting.
They also requested a young moose in the Lupine…My favorite childhood flower. What was yours?
May we all enjoy a long and blessed life.
 Love, Jody
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